The survey, of nearly 500 IT executives in Europe and the United States, also found a back-to-basics mentality among CIOs, with IT executives focusing on cost reduction, improving profitability, and customer retention.
"With the economy stalled, there is more of a focus on business fundamentals such as costs and profitability," says Kevin Roche, North American general manager of Getronics, a Netherlands-based international systems integrator and outsourcing vendor. The survey was conducted by Gentronics, in conjunction with International Data Group (IDG) Research.
Cutting costs was the top priority among IT executives: 67% of the respondents ranked it among their top-three business priorities. Increasing profits was in the top-three list for 58% of those surveyed, followed by 52% for "increase customer loyalty."
The leading IT spending priorities, according to the study, are security, e commerce, CRM and ERP. At the bottom are supply chain automation, wireless and upgrade/replacement.
Despite the effects of 9/11, security was actually a higher priority among European firms than U.S. companies. 38% of European IT departments listed security as a top priority; in the U.S. that number was 23%.